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Australian Army Trials Electric Bikes for Reconnaissance

The Australian Army has begun trials on “stealth” e-bikes for battlefield information gathering.

Soldiers of the 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry) 2/14LHRs (QMI) who tried the reconnaissance bicycle for the first time credited it for their improved performance.

One of the first soldiers to pioneer the bicycle in trials, Corporal Thomas Ovey, explained its capabilities. “It allows us to do safe-handing of information, whether that’s information people have found on the battlefield, or even if one of the troops takes photos on their phone and wants to send it back to headquarters.”

Detachable Part Of Boxer Combat Vehicle

The bicycle comes as a detachable part of the Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicle and helps it in sighting routes, said Ovey. He added that the bicycle also helps to reconnoitre creek lines to determine “whether we can get the vehicle through.”

“They’ll call us up, we’ll get the stealth bikes out, head down there and grab the information. It’s a lot quicker.

“We cover more ground much faster, and it saves time instead of waiting for troops to come to us when they’ve found something.

“It’s easier to punch out the e-bikes and return.”

Features

Trooper Damian Day (front) and Corporal Thomas Ovey conduct a scouting patrol on the Australian “electric pushies.” Image: CPL Nicole Dorrett/ Ministry of Defense, Australia

The bicycle has a maximum speed of 90km/h (56m/h) and can cover 100km (62m) on a single charge, using less power than standard electric bicycles while making less noise.

Moreover, Corporal Ovey finds the e-bike more exciting: “This is one of those things about the job that’s exciting, fun and awesome.”

The bicycle trial report will be released at the end of the year, determining whether they are employed in combat brigades.

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